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Bernhard W. Streeper
Born December 28, 1860


Bernhard W. Streeper one of the native farmers of Jones county who has attained a success of no mean proportions in the vocation he has pursued diligently for a number of years in Clay township, was born December 28, 1860. His father, Stephen Russell Streeper, became one of the prominent and well known men of this county, to which he came in the pioneering days. Born in Montgomery county, Pennsylvania, January 14, 1820, he was married there July 1, 1843. to Miss Isabel H. Todd, also a native of that county, born March 17, 1822. Shortly after their union, in 1844, the couple removed to Indiana. where they lived for about sixteen years, coming to Iowa in 1860. Several years before that date in 1854, Mr. Streeper had come to Jones county, where he entered the tract of government land on which his son Bernhard W. now lives. Although the hardships of the first years after he took up his residence here were those which usually fall to the lot of the men who brave the difficulties of pioneer life, yet Mr. Streeper overcame these and made success of his life's work. He was able to give his children the best educational advantages the public schools afforded in those days and became a man highly regarded in his locality. He had learned the trade of a stone-mason in early manhood, and after his sons were of an age to assume some of the responsibilities of the farm, he worked at it to a considerable extent. A republican in his political views, he was elected on its ticket to the positions of township trustee, school director and school treasurer, in which capacities he served for a number of years, always with honor to himself and to the satisfaction of those who had wisely placed confidence in his judgment, honesty and discrimination. In the work of the Presbyterian church he was very active, being a constant attendant upon its services and an elder for a number of years. He died March 11, 1896, leaving eight children, eighteen grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. He and his wife were the parents of eight. Mrs. Hannah M. Johnson, deceased; William, a resident of South Dakota, who first married Miss Jennie Gowing and after her death married Emma Taylor; James M., who wedded Miss Sadie Coder and lives in North Dakota; Stephen P., who married Miss Wealtha Smith and lives in Hancock, Iowa; Arabelia H., who became the wife of Merritt Osborn and makes her home in Minnesota; Robert H., who wedded Miss Etta Coburn, and resides in this county; Bernhard W., the subject of this sketch; and Sheridan Grant, who married Miss Emma Coburn and also lives in this county. Mrs. Streeper died February 10, 1908.
Bernhard W. Streeper was reared under the parental roof, entering the public schools, from which he derived his first training in the English branches. Later he spent one year at Onslow and another at Hopkinton, completing his education in the latter place. When he entered upon the serious business of life he chose farming as his vocation and has pursued it ever since. For a number of years he worked in the western part of the state but in 1895 he returned to the old homestead, which he operated during the remaining years of his father's life, caring for him with filial solicitude. After his death he managed the farm for his mother, and finally, April 12, 1908, bought it from the other heirs. It embraces one hundred and sixty acres, and at the time of its purchase, in 1854, Mr. Streeper's father had paid a dollar and a quarter an acre for it. Today it is worth just one hundred times that price, for it has been improved according to the best methods, is a rich and arable tract that makes large returns for the amount of thoughtful labor expended upon it. In addition to his purely agricultural interests, Mr. Streeper handles a large number of cattle and horses, from which he derives a most gratifying income. He has attained a pronounced success; his farm is one of the valuable tracts of Clay township. His prosperity and his good fortune have been obtained solely through his own efforts, through a persistence and industry that cannot fail to derive the very best results from the cultivation of the soil.
Mr. Streeper was married November 28, 1900, to Miss Sadie Orr, who was born in Jones county, May 26, 1871, and they now have two children, Mabel and Mildred, twins, born November 27, 1904. Although the record of his life is one that bespeaks the unwearying devotion of Mr. Streeper to his own concerns, he has not been without a large measure of public spirit and generosity, for he has served his township most efficiently during a long period as trustee and as school treasurer. A republican in his political views, he has received the support of the voters of that party when he expressed a willingness to devote some of his time to the interest of his fellow citizens. His religious adherence is given to the Presbyterian faith.

Source: History of Jones County, Iowa, Past and Present, R. M. Corbitt, S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., Chicago, 1910, p. 411.

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